This week saw the launch of the Blackberry Storm - RIM's rival to the iPhone. The device features RIM's first touchscreen, complete with a 'clickable' screen that the company says simulates the feel of a physical keyboard. The 3G Storm features 1GB of onboard memory storage and a card slot that allows for up to 16GB of additional storage.
But while it's hoped that the BlackBerry Storm will be an 'iPhone killer', questions remain about whether the product can match the popular Apple consumer device in several key areas. Here's a look at how the Storm stacks up against the iPhone in terms of price and features.
One of the most striking features of several new smartphones is their low cost. Apple and O2 priced the iPhone 3G at £99 on a £35 per month tariff. So far, neither Blackberry or Vodafone have released details on the retail price for the Storm, but it if it really aims to be the 'iPhone killer' that its makers hope it will be, then it will need a similar price point.
The iPhone is seen as a legitimate enterprise device now that it has access to Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync, a licensed data-synchronisation protocol whose built-in support will give IT departments the ability to set password policies, set up VPN settings and perform remote data wipes on iPhones that have been lost or stolen. The iPhone also took a big step forward when it gained access to Cisco IPsec VPN, which Apple says will "ensure the highest level of IP-based encryption available for transmission of sensitive corporate data".
However, as some analysts have pointed out, the BlackBerry still sets the standard for enterprise wireless devices due to its larger array of security policies, including the ability for IT departments to disable its digital cameras; to enable or shut down specific Bluetooth profiles and set how long the device is 'discoverable' using Bluetooth; and to define which applications on a BlackBerry can access GPS capabilities.
This could be an intriguing matchup, since neither the iPhone nor the Storm has a physical slide-out keyboard like the T-Mobile's new smartphone - the G1 does. However, RIM says that it is changing the game of how touchscreen keypads work with what it calls a 'clickable screen'. This means that users can actually press down on the digital keys on the screen and feel them being pressed and released just like they'd feel a mouse button being pressed and released.
Thus, users will in theory be able to type much easier by having the touch of a standard qwerty keyboard on the digital screen of their smartphone. Though we won't know for certain until it's tested out by more users, the Storm's keyboard gets the edge here for its ambition and creativity.
Click on the link below to see our iPhone 3G video